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August Trash Totals Are In, Claim Deadline Approaches

August Trash Totals Are In, Claim Deadline Approacheswaterwork

(Crystal A. Proxmire, Sept. 20, 2014)

 NOTE: An earlier version said Ferndale was the third highest in terms of trash.  This was an error and has been corrected. -cp

SOCRRA (South Oakland County Resource Recovery Authority) has released the trash tally for the month of August, showing the record-breaking amount of solid waste mainly from the sewer-water-soaked basements of people’s homes after the Aug. 11 flood.

Unless Federal disaster funding is approved, the $2.4 million clean-up cost will be borne by the member communities who use SOCRRA for trash collection and recycling. Cities that are part of SOCRRA include Berkley, Beverly Hills, Birmingham, Clawson, Ferndale, Hazel Park, Huntington Woods, Lathrup Village, Oak Jim Shaffer KELLER ad blackPark, Pleasant Ridge, Royal Oak and Troy. Overall, there was more than three times the normal amount of trash collected, but for the hardest-hit cities that number is even higher.  Cities pay for trash collection by the ton, at a rate of $27.50 per ton.

Added to the expense is the fact that the recycling facility became over-filled and haulers had to begin collecting recyclables as solid waste. Communities are given a rebate of $35 per ton of recycling.

Huntington Woods had the greatest increase in trash, 21.98 times that of last year. In 2013 they had HowesLocation1,504.4 tons. In 2014 they had 3,305.59. The vast difference is because Huntington Woods has a very robust recycling program, and during the clean up recycling was not possible.

Berkley had the second greatest increase, seeing 5.80 times as much trash. In 2013 they had 518.27 tons. In 2014 they had 3,003.69.

Oak Park had 4.38 times the amount of trash over last year. In 2013 they had 987.51 tons. In 2014 they had 4,328.83.

Royal Oak had 3.69 times more. In 2013 it was 1,947.83. In 2014 they had 7,183.59. The City says this will be about $650,000 worth of cleanup costs.

Clawson’s trash increase was 3.68 times more than last year. In 2013 they had 493.67 tons. In 2014 they had 1,613.16.

Ferndale was the third highest hit, with 2.72 times the waste from last year, going from 904.52 tons to 2, 463.57 tons.

20140920trashtotals01chartHazel Park faced 3.28 times as much trash. In 2013 they had 533.31 tons. In 2014 they had 1,750.42.

Pleasant Ridge had 2.39 times more. In 2013 the total was 94.26 tons. In 2014 they had 225.55.

Troy, Beverly Hills, Lathrup Village and Birmingham all saw only saw slight increases. Troy was 1.42 times last year. Lathrup Village was 1.31 times, Beverly Hills was 1.18 times, and Birmingham was 1.02.

SOCRRA also has increased costs associated with the flood cleanup, which will be passed on to the member communities. Additionally cleanup efforts continued into September for some, meaning waste numbers are likely to be higher this month too There are still vacant homes through the area that have not been cleaned too.

Several cities declared states of emergency, and Governor Rick Snyder declared it a disaster. This week Michigan Congresspeople, with the exception of three, sent a letter to President Barack Obama encouraging him to declare it a gallowaycollens1disaster so that the region may be eligible for assistance.

The deadline for those who want to file claims against the city or other government entities for the Aug. 11 sewer backups or flooding is Sept. 25. Residents can file claims through their city’s website or city clerk’s office.

Macuga, Liddle and Dubin, P.C. is a firm that specializes in class action lawsuits, and particularly infrastructure suits. They are offering to file with multiple government entities on behalf of claimants, and they are investigating if infrastructure failures, such as the pumps breaking along the expressways, may have contributed to the damage to people’s homes. There is no charge to have them file the forms, and submitting to multiple entities means that if an entity besides one’s city is found to have responsibility, those who file may be able to be part of a claim. But if people do not file with the specific seed14_chad_mattentity within the 45 day window, they will not be eligible for compensation. To fill out the form to have your claims submitted by Macuga, Liddle and Dubin, P.C. go to Or learn about their history at

For previous flood stories and resources see:



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